tv Democracy Now LINKTV January 15, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
01/15/19 01/15/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica this is democracy now! >> so here we are on a rainy day in the richest country of the world, in the richest state of the country, in a state as blue as it can be and in a city rife with millionaires, where teachers have to go on strike to get the basic for our students. not yourucation is
placing, billionaires. it belongs to the people of los angeles. amy: more than 30,000 teachers in the nation's second largest school district have gone on strike for the first time in 30 years. we will go to los angeles. in confirmation hearings begin for william barr, president trump'p's pick to become attorny general. the position he held under george h.w. bush. pres. trump: he demonstrated an unwavering adherence to the rule of law, which the people in this room like to hear. there is no one more capable or more qualified for this role. amy: as william barr has to capitol hill, will senators ask about his embers this ruby executive power, mass incarceration, indefinite detention, and worthless surveillance? then no more deaths. we go to tucson, where nine activists are facing federal charges for leaving water and food in the harsh sonora desert to help migrants survive the potentially deadly journey across the u.s. border. all that and more, coming up.
welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in los angeles public school , 32,000 teachers went on strike monday, many of them braving the pouring rain alongside their supporters as they marched through downtown los angeles. teachers are demanding smaller class sizes, higher pay, the regulation of charter schools, and more nurses, counselors, and librarians. the strike is the first such action in nearly 30 years. the strike is organized by united teachers los angeles, has effectively shut down the natition's s second l largest sl district. this is toby smith, , who teachs up to 200 students a day. >> we are pinned up against the wall. we have no other choice. they're going to cram the kids in like sardines. they're going to starve us out
and then charter schools will be the only schools. it is do or die for us. amy: we'll have more on the los angeles teacher strikes after headlines with strike leader and teacher cecily myart-cruz and author and journalist eric blanc. senate confirmation hearings begin today for william barr, president trump's nominee for the attorney general seat, left open after jeff sessions' firing in november. barr, a former attorney general for george h.w. bush, is known for his expansive view of executive power, but he is reportedly planning on reassuring senators he will protect special counsel robert mueller's russia probe according to prepared testimony. barr's opening statement says that it is vitally important mueller be able to complete his investigation. democratic senators are expected to press barr over an unsolicited memo he sent to deputy attorney general rod rosenstein in june, in which he criticized mueller's investigation. in addition to sending the memo to rosenstein barr acknowledged , he also shared it with most of trump's lawyers and discussed it with several of them. we'll have more o on this story later in the program with vince
warren of the center for constitutional rights. the longest government shutdown in u.s. history enters its 25th day come as 800,000 federal workers are either working without pay or have been furloughed with no signs of a breakthrough apparent in washington as trump continues to insist on $5.7 billion for funding his border r wall. meanwhile, in new york city, a number of prisoners at a downtown manhattan jail launched a hunger strike monday to protest the cancellation of family visits due to staffing shortages related to the government shutdown. some prisoners at the metropolitan correctional center have also reportedly not received medications. at a federal jail in brooklyn, lawyers report not being able to visit their clients because of the staff shortages. in poland, the mayor of gdansk, pawel adamowicz, died monday, one day after he was stabbed on stage during a charity event. the attacker, who has been charged with murder, reportedly yelled from the stage that he was wrongfully imprisoned under
the government of the civic platform party, which the mayor used to belong to. adamowicz had been the mayor of the port city of gdansk since 1998 and was a staunch critic of the right-wing polish government. he espoused liberal policies and ideas, defending lgbtq rights and immigrant rights. crowds gathered monday to pay tribute to the murdered mayor. this is donald tusk, president of the european council, originallyly from gdansk and frfriend of the mamayor. >> today i want to promise t to dear got in on them's the e peoe of gdanks that fofor you and d r everyonene, we willrotect hatred will not prevail. we will stand up against it. amy: in afghanistan, the taliban claimed responsibility for a car bomb that killed at least five people and wounded at least 100 others in the capital kabul, monday. the explosion went off near a high-security international compound.
officials say most of the victims were civilians and the wounded included scores of children. in more news from afghanistan, human rights watch is calling for international actors to impose sanctions and investigate recently appointed defense minister, asadullah khalid. khalid, a former governor of kandahar, is accused of committing war crimes and human rights abuses, including enforced disappearances, torturing prisoners, and ordering the murder of five u.n. workers in 2007. the human rights group also says there is evidence khalid committed acts of sexual violence against women and girls. in britain, members of parliament are voting today on prime minister theresa may's highly contested brexit deal. on monday, may made a final plea to members of parliament to support the deal. i it is not perfect and yes is a compromomise, but when ee history books are written, people will look at the decision -- people wilill look at the decisn
of this house tomorrow and ask them at it we deliver on the country's vote to leave the european union? -- orcurity and our union did we let the british people down? amy: it's unclear what will happen if the deal is rejected, although some have said the u.k. could hold a second referendum on leaving the european union. labour party leader jejeremy corbyn has called for a general election and a new government if may fails to get parliamentary babacking for r the existingng agreement. in pennsylvania, a federal judge blocked new rules from the trump administration monday that would have severely limited women's access to reproductive care by allowing employers opt out of an affordable care act requirement to provide birth control as part of female employees' healthcare. judge wendy beetlestone said of the ruling -- "the negative effects of even a short period of decreased access to no-cost contraceptive services are irreversible."
on sunday, a judge in california issued a similar injunction, but it only applied to the 13 states and the district of columbia, who were part of that lawsuit. supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg is missing oral arguments for the second week as she continues to recover after having two tumors removed from her lung last month. she is cancer-free. the 85-year-old, now three-time cancer-surviving justice, has been hearing arguments and weighing in on cases frorom home . the justices have declined to take up a case challenging the legality of trump's appointment of matthew whitaker as acting attorney general after jeff sessions' firing in november. in california, pacific gas and electric, or pg&e, will file for bankruptcy as it faces up to $30 billion in liability, as well as multiple investigations. california has experienced increasingly devastating wildfires in recent years.
in november of 2018, the cacamp fire, the ststate's deadliestt wildfire, decimated d the town f paradise in northern c californ, killing at least 86 people. the california department of forestry and fire protection, known as cal fire, is investigating possible issues with some of the utility's power -- utility power lines and towers as the cause of the fire. cal fire previously found that many of the worst forest fires in northern california in 2017 were caused by power lines, poles, or other equipment run by pg&e. house rerepublican leaders have voted unanimously to block iowa congressmember steve king from serving on any committees amid the outrage following his latest comments in a recent "new york times" interview. king praised white supremacy, saying -- "white nationalist, white supremacist, western civilization -- how did that language become offensive?" meanwhile, house democrats are preparing their own actions, including resolutions to censure king over r the comments.
in environmental news, the associated press is reporting the environmental protection agency referred just 166 pollution cases for prosecution in 2018, the lowest number in 30 years. the executive director of public employees for environmental responsibility, the group which released the data, said -- "you don't get closer to the core of epa's mission than enforcing the law. we're reaching levels where the enforcement program is lacking a pulse." a new report from the associated press found the u.s. requests to bring underage brides into the u.s. practice that results in , a numerouous forced a and abue marriages. there is no o minimum age requirement t when making aa spousal or fiancee immigration claim as u.s. immigration services consider whether a marriage is legal in the spouse or fiancee's home country. the marriage must also be legal in the state where the
petitioner lives and all u.s. states either have laws or exceptions allowing for a minor to be married. you hadn't in a fortis requesting and getting approval for 15-year-old child brides to come to the united states to marry them. and in connecticut, the families of six victims of the 2012 mass shooting at sandy hook elementary school scored a legal victory friday when a judge ruled they can access internal documents from conservative conspiracy theorist and internet personality alex jones and his website infowars. the families of the victims argue jones fabricated and perpetuated lies about the sandy hook massacre, portraying the event as a hoax and the victim'' families as paid actors. they say jones engaged in a "years-long campaign of abusive and outrageous false statements," which resulted in online harassment and death threats against the plaintiffs. the massacre at sandy hook elementary claimed the lives of 20 school children, aged 6 to 7,
and six school staff members. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the e war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show in los angeles, where public school teachers are on strike for the first time in three decades. on monday morning, tens of thousands of teachers braved pouring rain on the picket line for the strike's first day. some 20,000 people marched through downtown los angeles, demanding smaller class sizes, higher pay, the regulation of charter schools and more nurses, counselors, and librarians. over 31,000 members of united teachers los angeles are striking. this is utla president alexx caputoeaearl speakining to a crd of striking teachers monday. >> so here we are on a rainy day in the richest country in the world, in the richest state in the country, in a state as blue as it can be and in a city rife
with millionaires, where teachers have to go on strike to get the basics for our students. public education is not your placing, billionaires. it belongs to the people of los angeles. amy: the strike follows more than 20 months of strained negotiations between utla and the school district, which fell apart last week as the two parties failed to come to an agreement. the strike has effectively shut down los angeles unified, the nation's second largest school district, with only one third of the district's nearly half a million students showing up for school monday. the new california governor gavin newsom is calling for both sides to return to the negotiating table, saying in a statement "this impasse is disrupting the lives of too many kids and their families." the walkout follows a red wave of teacher strikes from west virginia to arizona last year. well, for more, we go now to los angeles, california, where we're joined by two guests. cecily myart-cruz, strike leader and national education
association vice president at united teachers los angeles. she's been a teacher in the los angeles unified school district for the past two decades. blanc,are joined by eric author of "red state revolt: the teachers' strike wave and working-class politics." cecily myart-cruz and eric blanc, welcome to democracy now! cecily myart-cruz, why don't we start with you. layout y 32,000 teachers are on strike. in an epic,strike historic, three decades in the making. we're on strike because it is really lack of respect. we want lower class sizes. nurses.staffing, over 80% of our schools do not
have a full-time nurse. and that is why we are there. district to come to havereement that services been dis-invested in our school system for far too long. some ofant to turn to the students who came out in support of the teachers monday. this is 15-year-old nicole, a 10th grader at john marshall high school. >> our teachers need our support, the student's support. they need to know we are on their side and that we want them better nice pay and just conditions. amy: and this is 17-year-old andrew montoya, a senior at john marshall high. >> we could have 40 kids upwards of like 48 in some of my
classes. that is a hard learning environment for anyone. and for a teacher to organize, you know? can you putlanc, this in context we look at the history of this strike and the red wave around the country? why is this happening now? is it at all significant that a new governor of california is now in charge, gavin newsom? >> yeah, i think that fundamentally, the struggle is part of a nationwide struggle of education. last year, you might remember it was said that, well, the strikes were red state revolt. it was in the lowest paid states, republican states. what we assume with this movement corrupting and los angeles, the same problems of underfunding, privatization, the wages, that is clearly a nationwide problem and been imposed by austerity by both republicans and democrats. i think the significance is twofold. on the one hand, made clear this is a struggle of teachers and
educators across the country and i think in particular, the question of f privatization here in los angeles has been put to the floor. amy: you an interesting piece in the nation. you write -- explain it further. >> the most important thing to understand about this strike i think that fundamentally it is about whether public education will continue to exist in los angeles or not. there are two plans. the plan of the new superintendent austin beutner who is imposed by billionaires who bought the 2017 election, a plan to downsize the district to push students into charter schools in the division of the teachers and parents in the union is contrary to not only defend but preserve the schools and make them actually serve the needs of the majority of students. what we see by andrew beutner is fundamentally a push to really
dismantle the institution that he is not only supposed to be leading, so he says that there is a financial crisis, that he would love to meet the demands of teachers. but we know their 1.86 does there is a 1.80 6 billion dollar reserve. he does not want to use that to improve the schools. they would undermine his mission to basically dismantle and privatize l.a. public schools. this is the l a angel mayoereric gcetttti. teachers have been engaged in contctct negiatition foror se timeme. this pas weeprododuc good results th vererimportanan face-to-face negotiaonons in real movenent. buimimporttly, talrokeke downwn ofriday and teachs are set to streomomorro i anand wi ourur tchers s d a grt balletids desee smalr csses, , moreuppoport staff, a communi focuseschoolol all parents dervrve to know their chdrdren are se in
tending great schools. we must also enre the long-terfiscal hlth of t district. i deeply believe there's a lo more that ites us than separates us. and a just, fair, and responsible deal needs to be our immediate priority. if youcily myart-cruz, can talk about the negotiations currently taking place, the latest offer to the union includes a full-time nurse for every y elementary school, district reports offer about $130 million and 1200 positions to previous proposals, increased staffing limited to one year. top more about all of this. atand i think you capped it the end. all of those supports that were laid out our one year guarantee. supports, in additional nurse, it is choosing one or the other -- a nurse or a
class-size reduction teacher, and a staffing would only stay for one year. we know that is not sustainable within a school when you are oning to work trauma-informed care, having psychologists. we should not have to choose having a nurse, a counselor, psychologist, or a class-size reduction teacher. all of those staffing needs are important, and we need that for our students. we know that the students learning conditions are the educators working conditions. and that is really what is at stake here. so according to "the new york times," than 80% of the for free orlify reduced price lunch. latinos roughly make up 75% of all students, while whites and african-americans account for
less than 10% of enrollment. talk about the significance of all of this. >> i think that the significance up, at air ride systematic -- erik brought up to a systematic defunding of public education over many years. i graduated from this l.a. unified school district in 1990, and we had a nurse at our site every day. .e had lower class sizes so when we are talking about a systematic underfunding of public education, we are talking about a privatization model that ,as swept the country particularly here in los angeles , when you have 287% unregulated charter growth where $600
million is not recouped to come back into our general fund and is given to unregulated charter growth? that is a problem. the district is not utilizing that. that that is the plan. the plan is to dismantle our school district and really dismantle public education. and we are not going for that. "the los angeles times" is saying estimated 400 substitutes have been called in, 2000 staffers from central and foronal offices filled in 31,000 teachers, nurses, librarians, and counselors. at 10 schools, nonteaching employees are taking part in a sympathy strike. so describe what is happening now and what the plans are. i know today, another call for
massive presence and rallies across los angeles. >> yes. unique thingsw that happen. we did hear reports that 50 kids ouout of 500 attended schools yesterday. folks are very sympathetic. parents have been on the line and energetic with us. students have been on the line. today, the accelerated charter school is going on strike. so it is unionized charter school going on strike. their employer is obviously not lausd, but there also feeling the same affects of what we are feeling. the sentiment out there, if you saw the pictures yesterday, i think that says it all. folks were out rain or shine to walk these lines in front of
their schools and then converge on downtown los angeles in a way that i have never seen before. energetic, but saying we need better, our students deserve more, and privatization has to go. and so today, we are taking the fight right to the charter industry at the california charter school association. i can't wait to be there. to show what is happening with the privatization peace and put it on display for everyone. this is areanc, interesting. this is not only about teacher pay raises, it is so much more. so talk more about this association, the focal point of the protest t today, and then pt it into the context of what is happening around the countrtry. >> right. so as i'm into before, the stakes of what we're seeing in
los angeles have national implications. i think that what happens here is going to determine for the for siebel future a lot of the dynamics around public education. educators around the country are looking to see, can los angeles and will los angeles teachers fight back and win against the same types of forces that are trying to impose the same types of policies of austerity and privatization in their schools? conversely, the billionaires are very much aware of what is happening in los angeles and consciously funding the campaigns of beutner to lie about what teachers are doing just have systematic smear campaign in the press. to whattant stakes we're seeing here, and there are important vested interest on both sides. for the labor and billionaires that would like to see the dismantling of public schools. i think the strike that began and was virginia continues. los angeles in turn when
teachers win, i think we should expect a percolation and a ripple effect not just of red states but blue states. los angeles to be followed by open teachers talking about striking in february. ,enver teachers, south carolina virginia. this education movement just started and i don't even think we have seen how far r it will . amy: your formerly a teacher in the bay area. why do you think teachers are now on the front lines of a radical working-class resistance today? think the most important thing to keep in mind is public education as a last bastion of the public sector of the united states. they've taken away most of everything else we have and put it into private hands. what you are seeing is working people really concentrating around public education as the last right that we have for all people in this country. and so at the same time, big
business wants to dismantle this because they know if they can lower people's expectations, that they don't deserve anything, then it will be much harder to fight for other gains that we need such as medicare for all or a green new deal. what we are really seeing is is this going to be a country that uses vast wealth to fund human reads -- needs or use it to really fund the billionaires? it is a hopeful moment because los angeles teachers are going -- showing it is possible to change these policies. i think a lot of people feel things should be different but they don't have a sense of power. giving angeles is working-class people a sense that they can change the world and showing them the means to which they can do that. amy: arne duncan, former secretary of education under president obama, said l.a. unified is spinning half $1 billion more each year than it brings in and headed toward insolvency in about two years if nothing changes.
it simply does not have the money to fund utla's demandsds. cecily myart-cruz, can you respond? >> sure, i can. arne duncan comes from the same path that betsy devos, another privatize or who thinks they in turn,ation, and that is the same way our superintendent thinks because he is a privatizor. no, we're not going to be headed for insolvency if they don't act . and what do i mean by that? we conducted an economic impact saying,everal years ago what is the damage done by unregulated charter growth? willd that before, so i repeat it. over the last 10 years, we have charter, unregulated charter growth. so with that comes money attached because the school board -- and that is the
billionaire-backed school board -- every school board session are proving new charters, new charters in such. to the tune of $600 million a year. so that is money that comes out of the general fund that could allll ofof these -- fund these things. not everything, but some things can be funded through $609 a year. now of course we need to also be looking at the state. we should also be looking at reforming prop 13. and that will be on the ballot in 2020. schools andlled community's first. it will put $11 billion into education. that is another thing. we have to start attacking all of the places that bring in the revenue and the resources right
heck,os angeles and, california rep large. amy: your message to the half a million students in los angeles unified district? >> my message is, students, we're doing this for you. you are the future. and we cannot expect you to be the future if we put you last. so we are doing this for you. stay strong. stay with us. be on the lines with us, but demand what you want to see change. demand that from the legislators . demand it from the politicians. but let's start right here in los angeles and start demanding this, not only of the superintendent who has zero educational experience, but let's demand that from the school board members a as well. amy: we want to thank you both for being with us cecily , myart-cruz, strike leader and
vice president of utla. , his new piece for the guardian we will link to, "l.a.'s teachers can teach the working class about the power of labor strikes." back, today begins the confirmation hearing for william barr as attorney general . we will speak with vince warren of the center for constitutional rights. stayay with us.. ♪ [music break]
amy: "riot" by earl sweatshirt. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. senate confirmation hearings begin today for william barr, president trump's nominee forr attorney general to replace jeff sessions who was fired in november. barr served as attorney general for george h.w. bush from 1991 to 1993. during that time, he was involved in the pardon of six reagan officials for the iran-contra scandal and oversaw the opening of the guantanamo base military prison which was initially used to indefinitely detain hiv-positive asylum seekers from haiti. one federal judge accused the bush administration of creating an hiv prison camp. barr openly backed mass
incarceration at home as well. as attorney general, he once wrote the introduction to a report titled "the case for more incarceration." according to the aclu, william barr also helped develop a secret drug enforcement administration program, which became a blueprint for the national security agency's mass phone surveillance effort. after leaving government, barr became general counsel at verizon at a time whenen the telecom gigiant was secretly working with the nsa warrantless surveillance program. today's hearing is expected to focus in part on the future of special counsel robert mueller's russia probe. according to his prepared remarks, barr is expected to say it is vitally important mueller be allowed to complete his investigation. but last year, barr sent an unsolicited memo to deputy attorney general rod rosenstein in june, in which he criticized mueller's investigation. he then apparently spoke
privately with trump's attorneys about the memo and his case for protecting executive privilege and executivive power. we're joined now by vince warren, executive director of the center for constitutional rights. needsbout what you think to happen today, the kinds of questions that william barr should be asked by the senators. really bige two overlays here. the first one is around his view .f presidential power specifically, those views that were articulated to the trump administration and now apparently the trump lawyers in an unsolicited memo. i don't know who writes a memo to the president of the united states saying that the special councilors overseeing -- is overstepping their bounds, but that is what he did. that is important because as we know, president trump is very hot to get himself out of the hot seat and looking for anybody
who will push back on that and the special fire counsel. that is one part of it. the other part i think is equally as important, and i think folks need to keep their eye on this, even if he says the magic wards that "all of the special counsel do his job, i will not fire the special counsel, i will read a report when it comes out," he is a long history of being not only a law and order attorney general, but he has espoused views that expand presidential power not just internationally with respect to, for example, going into the first iraq war, but also with respect to mass incarceration of hundreds of thousands of people here in the united states and a very bad track record on the question of asylum, people coming into the u.s. as well. all of those issues i think need to be moved forward. he was approved almost unanimously by the democrats last time he went through this process. he likely will be approved again , unfortunately. but people need to kekeep their
eye on the idea even if he says the magic words, he is really bad news for the trajectory the country's going in now. amy: so in addition to consulting with trump's lawyers around how to limit the probe or whatever it is he talked with them about -- i don't know if he was talkining aboutt eliminate . do you think this would be grounds for refusal? >> i do think it would be grounds for recusal. aere's nothing that prohibits private citizen from interacting with the president's lawyers on any matter. it is entirely different when a private citizen who is providing the advicice and gets nominated for the attorney general's slot. now he has a preconceived idea of what he thinks should happen. at the very least, that should be fully vetted by congress as he is going through the nominations process. i also think depending on what his views are, he might have to ststep back and recuse himself.
he can have a very different opinion than the special counsel and as long as he is not implicated as jeff sessions was -- which is why jeff sessions recused himself -- i don't know that he needs to, but i think would be wise and terms of keepeping us power separate for him to step back and let that process manafort. amy: in and the question is, how much you will be allowed to make public. he is in cahoots with the trump administration about the attorney general process and about the spececial counsel process, thahat makes the whole process come together. it is like a collusion-type scheme and that is really problematic. you don't want the attorney general to be the person gaming the entire system, both from the administration side and from the prosecutorial side, is that is what happens. amy: let's talk about his record. it is not onlyly about were he stands on the mueller probe -- he has a long record around, for example, mass incarceration. he was involved in the pardon of six reagan officials for the
iran-contra scandal. the significance of this, especially in light of the investigations going on around trump and who is being offered pardons, who is going to jail? >> at some level, his involvement in the pardons come all the problematic politically , we're in a situation where president trump willll pardon almost anybody for anything. it is a must like these random pardons he is giving out like party favors. atat some level, i don't expect hugebarr will have a influence on that because the president is moving afford. what is more concerning to me is the question of asylum and immigration. back in the 1990's, 1991, there was a coup in haiti that deposed the president. barr was one of the key figures that created the idea of creating detention camps at guantanamo for hiv patients. you have to remember, tens of thousands of haitians were
fleeing haiti at the t time. there are coming to florida seeking asylum will stop rather than giving them asylum, they essentially created a test first of all, they tried to -- they created basically in hiv camp because a number of people that were coming through were hiv-positive and he was the chief architect behind that particular program. amy: this was the first u.s. president guantanamo. >> the first. and that prison wasas closed don by michael ratner and the center for constitutional rights through the litigation, what we call the first wonton of a litigation and we're trying to close the second one down as well. the important piece is that as an asylum question, william barr saw people coming from haiti not as a silence but largely as people that were threats to both the democratic system and a threat to the economy. he is quoted as saying that "why would we let all of these
haitians coming into the united states, to florida, so close to the election?" indicating there's a political view of this that these folks coming are largely going to create political havoc for the republicans in florida, which -- the idea we're looking at now is with president trump's a view of asylum, which is wrong and illegal and seriously problematic, having someone like william barr who is an old hand it only the nine people find unconstitutional, but creating a legal structures to did pain fofolks is going to be real -- detained folks is going to be problematic. amy: on immigration, a box reports in 1992 "barr rolled out $19 plan to beef up security in the san diego tijuana area where crossings were then concentrated. plan,mponent of that
building a steel fence with the assistance of the department of defense, the san diego tijuana area started a border wide trend of building physical barriers to prevent crossings and populated areas, funneling immigrants for the arizona desert and more recently, gang controlled crossings in the rio grande valley." again, that from voxx. >> we're looking at someone who is essentially the legal architect of some ofof the problems that wewe have right n. the ideaea where we'e're havinge whole government is partially shutdown because of a border wall question and william barr was able to move forward and create a wall, a deterrent wall in the san diego area almost 20 years ago. i expect that -- amy: barring people -- >> from crossing into the united states, as it were. i suspect if he is appointed as attorney general in this
context, we're going to see much more aggressive moves around questions of walls, much more problematic rhetoric about how people come in and who doesn't come in and a confusion between people that are coming in for immigration purposes, people coming in for asylum purposes, and people that are fleeing persecution. amy: the aclu has called barr the godfather of the nsa's books data collection program. program,ata collection known for hoping to develop the blueprint for the mass surveillance -- phone surveillance at a time when verizon was secretly working with the surveillance program. about all of the talk transparency that he is when to do today, we have to remember that he was with his corporate hat on, ushering in an era in which corporations and the government colluded to spy on tens of thousands if not
millions, people through corporate networks. viewssomeone that i think mass surveillance, mass incarceration, mass denials of asylum as an operative law enforcement tool. i don't think he has found a sweeping program that he hasn't liked. he seems not concerned at all with the effects on innocent people, with the idea of our civil liberties to be free from that type of secret surveillance, to be free from being able -- to be thrown into being to be free from pushed back to our former country when we are seeking asylum. he doesn't really care about that stuff, all he cares about is the massive power of the government to build the sweep people into huge boxes and weed out the bad folks lateter. amy: meanwhile, the supreme court refused to your challenge to the legality of trump's decision to name matthew whitaker acting attorney general
and the democrats are dealing with this as well, as long as someone isn't put in permanently, whitaker is there. >> the controversy there is it was essentially a back pocket appointment that did not go through constitutional muster, that there are no provisions to allow that to happen. and i think whitaker, now with barr in place, the issue might become moot relatively quickly. but i think it goes to the idea, number one, this a ministry should has no idea what it is doing legally. number two, they will move forward with friends and family to put them into these types of positions on most by any means necessary. number three, the big challenge with filing these lawsuits them as we all do, is they sometimes t the way thisthan a administration is moving. amy: thank you, vince warren. we will cover this tomorrow because the hearing is today for become.illiam barr to
amy: "untitled song for latin america" by minutemen. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as a long as government shutdown days oldistory is 25 now, president trump continues his immigration crackdown. we end today's show looking at how the trump administration is criminalizing humanitarian aid at the border. in tucson, arizona, activist with the human is during group no more deaths go on trout today, facing charges for a slew of federal crimes come all because of their efforts to leave water and food in the harsh sonora desert to help refugees survive the deadly journey across the u.s. border. filed januaryere
2018, just a week after no more ofths published a report u.s. border patrol agents of routinely vandalizing or confiscating this water, food, and other humanitarian aid, condemning refugees to die of exposure or dehydration. just hours after the report was released, scott daniel warren was charged with felony counts of harboring and conspiracy after he was observed providing migrants with food, water, shelter over the course of three days post up he faces two decades, 20 years in prison, if convicted. no more deaths fell between 2012 andd 2016, border r patrol agegs emptied nearly 40 gallons o of water left for migrants in the desert come also confiscating food, emergency medical blankets, and other aid. for more, we go to tucson where we are joined by two guests. paige corich-kleim is a humanitarian aid worker and volunteer with no more deaths. and ryan devereaux is a staff reporter at the intercept where he covers immigration enforcement, the drug war, and
national security. his latest piece "arizona judge , in no more deaths case had secret talks with federal prosecutors." let's begin there. ryan, what did you uncover? >> thank you, amy. last month, motions were filed -- and a series of motions we discovered the judge in scott lawrence case you described in the run-up t to the segment, had conversations with prosecutors in this case in which the prosecutors were attempting to narrow the scope of materials they were required to disclose in his case, namely to medications sent to the border patrol agents involved in warns arrest. these conversations occurred without any consultation from warns defense team. his defense team has argued there were wholly improper and called for the removal of the judge in the case and the removal of the prosecutors in the case. there was a hearing yesterday on these matters.
and going forward, the judge in the case is going to be judge collins who has presided over no more deaths cases in the past. warren's attorneys are arguing things be taken a step further and the prosecutors be removed, the indictment be dropped against warren, and at the very least, failing that, this case be taken out of the hands of the u.s. attorney's office here in arizona. amy: paige corich-kleim, you have been volunteering for no more deaths for, what, five years? what volunteers do and what the nine people who are on trial today did. volunteers do a number of things. we leave humanitarian aid supplies in areas where there have been known migrant deaths. we track where the medical examiner reports migrant deaths and more people are found, then we go in try to prevent future water,by living food,
blankets in the winter, clean socks and things of that nature. we expanded to a corridor in 2014. when we started entering the wilderness, absolutely it was devastating. we started finding human remains pretty consistently, finding the bodies of people who had died. we really started working out there more and having a stronger presence of putting out water. our response from the land managers was, direct change in their permitting language to ban humanitarian aid supplies, so they added a clause in the permit application saying that volunteer specifically could not leave food, water, water containers, food containers, blankets, medical supplies -- just listing out exactly the types of aid work and aid supplies we wanted to be leaving. we have been trying to be in dialogue with them, but we also have moved into this time where we are having a pretty
adversarial interaction and relationship with the land manager out there. amy: wanted to get involved with this? -- why did you get involved with this? talk about what happened on most exactly a year ago after r no me deaths came out with a report in the first arrests were made -- axa, not the first arrest of no more death, by any means. afterot involved just being in college and coming out to the border and seeing what was happening. it is a really devastating compelling issue and i think the work that no m more deaths doess really effective in intervening with it. when it is able to exist. about a year ago we published a report, part of our disappeared series called interference in humanitarian aid. we published documentation of border patrol consistently destroying our supplies as well as video of them actually doing it. we put out cameras on different areas wherere we had seen our water drops he destroyed.
-- be destroyed. we caught border patrol on camera destroying our supplies. we went public with that in the video we released went viral and was seen all around the world by millions of people and then hours later, scott warned was arrested. was arrested.d.n wereis linked to the work we doing and uncovering border patrol misconduct and violence. we are now being targeted for it. amy: how many people die in the desert? >> that is a really hard question. we know that every year, hundreds of people's bodies are found, but we know also just the nature of the southern arizona desert and the terrain and how remote some of these areas are, how far they are. a lot of people e who die in the desert are never found. in 2017 will we really started were 32re work, there
bodies found. many of those by our volunteers and other humanitarian aid organizations. we also know of many other cases that are unresolved where we know somebody was in the area and was nenever seen again. what is notable as well is the area has limited access. some of the times we've been able to really get out into the wilderness and deep in there, we've had to do overnight hikes. we are found up to three sets of remains in a single day. has limited access. there is an error just north of their that is an active bombing range the people are being funneled across. that area has zero public access. you look on the maps of known migrant deaths, and there are a lot of blank spots on the bobombing range. we know that is not because nobody is dying there, it is because nobody is being found there. the numbers we have are not really reflective what is truly happening. amy: ryan devereaux, you wrote a .iece for the intercept
tell us what you found and then talk about all of the cases today. it is not all nine people are going on trial today. four people are. tell is what each of the cases involved in what they face. complicated. there four people going on trial today. those are water defendants. they're basically being charged the violating rules on national wildlife refuge, namely trespassing and littering for leaving behind humanitarian aid supplies -- food, water etc. -- for other defendants -- four other defendants will be headed to trial later. similar charges. those individuals were involved in a rescue and recovery operation when they were cited for hanging on to the refuge. finally, there is warren scott warren's case in the run-up in
which he is charged w with harboring and conspiracy. these charges together sort of onicate a crackdown humanitarian aid work in the arizona desert here that began really as trump was coming into office in april 2017. former attorney general jeff sessions came down here to arizona and basically told his prosecutors that he wanted to ramp up certain sets of charges, border have in related charges, among them, harboring charges. they were not only fair game, he wanted to see those kinds of cases brought. in filings that we have seen since then, we know that the border patrol started taking a hard look at no more deaths around the time of sessions' visit. the agency raided a camp no more deaths has used for more than a decade. it was a provocative action. then there was this back and
forth ajo corridor over regulations and access to the refuge were no more deaths was expanding its work, finding more and more human remains. by the end of 2017, these charges started to come in against volunteers who were working on the refuge. then in january of last year, a year ago to this week, warren was arrested on the day this report came out. since that time and the year that has followed, we've seen a lot of activity in pretrial motions, attorneys for no more deaths have been arguing that these arrest, these prosecutions violated the religious freedoms of the defendants. they push the government to release documents related to warren's arrest. what we will be seeing in the weeks ahead is real sort of interrogation of what exactly has been going on -- it is important to keep in mind
through the targeting of humanitarian aid on the border, it is part of a larger crackdown the trump administration has been orchestrating on the border that extends to family separation, extends to the clogging of ports of entry for asylum-seekers. is a tinyny steak and it alall starts today. of noyan, the history more deaths is an extension of the sanctuary movement of the 1980's, which actually continues today? is correct, amy. in the 1980's and southern arizona, a collection of religious leaders, priests, etc., basically came together using the underground railroad as a blueprint to move asylum-seekers from central america who were fleeing u.s. -backed dirty wars into the u.s. when they sort of discovered the reagan a administration was a legally -- illegally blocking access to those folks. the reverberations of that can
be felt today. massive government investigation was launched into the movement. churches were infiltrated all subsequent recordings were made of sermons. religious leaders were indicted, charged, prosecuted with some of the same charges got warren faces today -- scott warren faces today. his own of gave birth to the humanitarian aid community that exists in southern arizona today. we seeing history repeat itself in many ways in tucson. amy: ryan devereaux,, thank you for being with us and we willing to your pieces at the intercept democracynow.org. paige corich-kleim, thank you for joining us humanitarian aid , worker and volunteer with no morere deaths. four no more deaths volunteers are going on trial today in tucson, arizona. we will follow that trial. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who apappreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013.
nhk "newsline." i'm kyoko tashiro in tokyo. britain's parliament has rejected prime minister theresa may's deal for leaving the european union in a historic defeat, throwing the future of the kingdom in question. members of parliament overwhelmingly voted down the deal on tuesday with 202 in favor and 432 against. the crushing loss is the largest by a british governmin